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  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4

    Before the install

    Ensure your data (at least all Home folders) is backed up before you install. Hard disks can fail at any time so it is important to regularly backup to an external disk with Time Machine or a third party alternative. Inexperienced users should follow Apple's install advice but experienced users may prefer to do a clean install.


    OS numbers and names

    OS X 10.4.x - Tiger

    OS X 10.5.x - Leopard

    OS X 10.6.x - Snow Leopard

    OS X 10.7.x - Lion

    OS X 10.8.x - Mountain Lion


    More about Macs

    The Apple History site has specifications for every Mac ever produced:


    Upgrade to Leopard

    Those wishing to upgrade to Leopard should be aware that install disks can be expensive. Details: Standard Leopard installers impose several hardware limitations including speed and RAM size but all these restrictions can be overcome. Google for details. Leopard works well at 500 MHz with 1 GB of RAM and many happy users have less than this.


    Upgrade beyond Leopard

    OSs beyond OS X 10.5.8 require an Intel processor. If in doubt click the apple at the top left of your screen and select 'About this Mac'. This will give you your OS number. Then click 'More Info' to see which processor you have. If it says PowerPC you cannot upgrade to Snow Leopard and above. If you have an Intel Mac it is well worth upgrading to Snow Leopard now and then considering other options after that. You can buy Snow Leopard here:


    Upgrade to Lion

    Information about upgrading Snow Leopard to Lion:


    Upgrade to Mountain Lion

    Information about upgrading Snow Leopard or Lion to Mountain Lion:



    1. Check that your Mac complies with any requirements.
    2. If you are not in the US you should use the Change Country link at the bottom of Apple pages.
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